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Weeknotes #132 — Cycle Silverstone

Monday saw our last public holiday before Christmas here in the UK, extending my time off and making it a four-day week. I had planned to go into the office on Wednesday to start getting used to being there again, but I had forgotten about a dentist appointment booked long ago. I’m planning to try and go in this coming week instead.

Autumn seemed to set in before August was done and I found myself reaching for my jumpers and slippers again. However, it looks as though summer will be making a small fight back over the next few days so the jumpers are back on their hangers.

This was a week in which I:

  • Got through all of my new emails and Teams messages that had accumulated during my week away.
  • Resolved to try and deal with messages and emails on the ‘first touch’ much more, which did lead to me feeling much more productive than usual. I’m going to try and keep this up.
  • Provided details to a vendor on the existing phone system in one of our offices so that they can quote for a Teams Direct Routing service to replace it.
  • Closed out on a final quote for a door access system upgrade in one of our offices, after many weeks of back and forth as we refined our requirements. We now need to finish off the architectural details before we can commission the work.
  • Agreed with colleagues in Finance on an approach to our piece of the business case of the large group-wide programme that we are taking part in.
  • Presented a proposal to the entire IT team on how we should go about organising our internal data. Received good feedback and agreement that this is something we need to do, and soon.
  • Sat in on a demonstration of a prototype put together by our internal AI group to help with greater understanding of current and prospective clients for our part of the business. Enjoyed the discussion and debate on the next steps.
  • Attended a presentation by colleagues working in behavioural science on improving product adoption. This got me wondering how much a well-crafted email, or a document written with the reader in mind, falls under behavioural science.
  • Met with a new team member who joined while I was away.
  • Had a lovely random coffee with our Head of Operational Risk.
  • Signed up to LeadIn 4-D specifically to watch Matt Ballantine talk about his PlayCards project. I’ve heard Matt talk about it quite a bit, particularly in the WB-40 podcast Signal group, but had never really ‘got it’. Matt’s presentation was excellent and had my brain whirring; I called him later to download all of the notes I had made. It was a nice side-effect to have joined the LeanIn 4-D community too, and I’m looking forward to exploring it.
  • Reviewed the latest iteration of the school’s COVID-19 risk assessment as well as the new Outbreak Management Plan.
  • Looked at a contract renewal for the school’s IT service provider.
  • Cleaned up the majority of my ‘blog post ideas’ folder and found many posts that I had more than half written but then never finished off. I am going to try to breathe life into them, and to generally write more.
  • Went through the car insurance renewal dance and saved over £100 by finding a new provider instead of renewing. Spent 50 minutes on hold with my current insurer before getting through to someone who could stop my auto-renew.
  • After a week of running, had a good week back on the turbo trainer. Strava is telling me that I have gone ‘well above normal range’ in terms of physical stress and I can feel it.
  • Had another migraine. I am starting to conclude that they are almost solely down to tiredness. Fortunately I never get debilitating headaches, but the aura is a total pain in the butt as I am unable to see properly for half an hour or so before the headache kicks in.
  • Had an unmentionable number of fillings at the dentist. Some of my old ones had failed and fallen out over the past couple of years and needed to be replaced. I am so grateful to have the superb dentist that I have, especially as the work was done under the NHS. It was amazing to ‘watch’ her work on multiple teeth at once.
  • Took part in Cycle Silverstone with my eldest boy. After a long queue for registration, hitting the track felt wonderful. The tarmac is super-smooth and it felt amazing to be pedalling around there. But tackling 50–60km was something else — the lack of downhill meant that it felt like a tough turbo trainer ride, and I was very grateful to find the food table at the finish.

  • Enjoyed the Netherlands F1 race. Very happy that Max Verstappen won, given the turnout of the crowd and the fact that the race didn’t happen in Zandvoort last year. Based on what we saw on TV, the Dutch really seem to know how to have a good time!

Next week: Back to the office for the first time in 18 months, and trying to keep cool as we get the last of the summer sunshine.

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